In 2016, Valmont Utility completed the installation of a new batching and mixing plant for concrete utility poles production in Bartow, Fla. The company is a leading fabricator of concrete and steel structures for the electric utility industry, and the central Florida operation is the largest source of static cast and spun prestressed concrete utility poles in the U.S.
|Part of the Valmont Utility Bartow plant expansion is driven by volume requirements tied to customers’ needs for ever-larger spun prestressed concrete poles. In the 2016 upgrade, Haarup NA equipped the producer accordingly, delivering a batch plant with rapid aggregate transfer in a small footprint, along with a traveling bucket to speed mix delivery to a hopper feed pole forms.|
|Full enclosure protects the main conveyor and aggregates bound for the four 100-ton overhead bins.|
Valmont Utility spun prestressed concrete poles are designed and manufactured to provide unmatched quality, value and performance for power distribution customers. Concrete consistency is fundamental to casting poles that meet the producer’s high standards and customer expectations.
Haarup North America was among vendors asked to bid on a new batching and mixing plant, having previously supplied major components to Valmont Utility’s Bellville, Texas, pole plant (2011). The Florida location brought some unique demands regarding Bartow layout and equipment finishes: A very high water table required plant installation fully above ground, while many components had to be hot-dipped galvanized to ensure longer service life. It was essential for the facility to continue operating its existing batch plant for pole casting while the Haarup equipment was being installed and commissioned.
Haarup NA was chosen as the batching and mixing equipment supplier in part because it provided a solution for the layout and installation requirements unique to the facility. Other factors included equipment quality and reliability, plus parts and service availability. It was also important for Haarup NA and the local general contractor to work well together, ensuring Valmont could focus on current production during plant assembly and installation.
In the finished plant, aggregates are loaded into ground bins and then transported by conveyor to four elevated, 100-ton aggregate bins which, along with their support structure, are hot-dipped galvanized. A 3000L Haarup mixer charges a traveling bucket that delivers the concrete to a hopper filling the pole forms. Valmont Utility also deploys Tuckerbilt mix transport vehicles to discharge concrete into special-product forms. The batch plant and mix delivery run on Haarup controls.
As safety is of utmost importance to Valmont Utility, the plant has easy access for all service requirements in the form of stairs and walkways to maintenance areas. There are also lines for all grease points running to a central location, making the maintenance point more accessible.
“Haarup listened to us during the design of the new batch plant, offering suggestions and implementing the requirements of the project effectively,” says Valmont Utility Director of Concrete Operations Ronald Barnett. “They then worked with the general contractor to ensure the design and installation of the new batch plant proceeded smoothly, allowing us to continue with normal production, which was imperative for supporting our customers.”
The new equipment enables Bartow production crews to mix larger batches and realize higher quality concrete with more reliable production, in turn helping Valmont Utility meet increasing spun cast prestressed pole demand. — Haarup North America Inc., Portland, Ore., 503/954-1718; www.haarup.com